Organizational diagnostics involves assessing an organization’s current level of functioning in order to design appropriate change interventions.  The concept of diagnosis in organizational development is used in a similar manner to the medical model.  The physician conducts tests, collects critical information on the human, and evaluates this information to prescribe a course of treatment.  Likewise, the organizational diagnostician uses specific procedures to collect vital information about the about the organization, to analyze this information, and to design appropriate organizational interventions (Tichy, Hornstein, & Nesberg,1977).

Again, likened to medical approaches, organizational diagnostics takes a “holistic” view of the organization – a total system review.  There are a number of models used for organizational diagnostics.  Luna Solutions facilitates Weisbord’s Six-Box Model as it requires a great deal of collaboration.  It is critical to involve all stakeholders – leaders, employees and clients, even vendors, when identifying gaps in an organization and initiating positive change and transition initiatives.

The Weisbord Model


Weisbord refers to the structure as the way in which the organization is organized – Purpose,  Structure, Rewards, Technology and Systems and Relationships; with Leadership in the center touching all areas of the business.

Although, not represented as a box, external environment is also depicted in Weisbord’s model. Environmental input is identified as money, people, ideas and systems.  Outputs are identified as products and services.

So when should you consider organizational diagnostics?  Unfortunately, many leaders are so focused on day-to-day business challenges, that they often don’t consider troubleshooting until they are faced with major external market shifts in their business, have lost a significant client, experienced excessive employee turnover, or all of the above. When these dramatic events occur, it is difficult to design effective interventions as transition at this stage often stalls the organization for long periods, or in some cases recovery is impossible altogether.

The time to consider an organizational diagnosis is when a leader senses a shift in business, receives less than WOW responses from their clients, when employees complain (about anything) and/or vendors are late on their orders because they no longer consider you as a priority as they once did.

If you are considering an organizational diagnosis for your company, Cynthia Brinkley has a number of years of experience with, and is certified in, Organizational Diagnosis (Sam Kaner, PhD) and Transition Management (William Bridges, PhD).

Call or email for a free consultation today!


(Organizational Diagnostic Models: A Review and Synthesis, Salvatore V. Falletta, EdD, President & CEO, Leadershipsphere, Inc. 2005)